Cutbacks on the Home Front

Motivated by economics, my family and I have cut back on … just about everything.

We have tried to do it smart by:

  • Buying refurbished cell phones with prepaid calling cards,
  • Hooking our home phone up to the computer,
  • Canceling our television service and getting a new fangled antenna for free digital TV programming,
  • Replacing a broken hot water heater with an Energy Star model,
  • Paying bills online,
  • Using cloth bags for grocery shopping,
  • Installing Waterwise fixtures to help save water, and
  • Unplugging appliances and electronics when not in use.
Yesterday, we received our computer connection bill. It was about $46. That put a smile on my face. When we had bundled phone service with TV and internet, the bill ran $150 a month. The digital home phone cost about $40 for the entire year and the antenna, about $70, already paid for itself.

So we're seeing a difference now, but I'm beginning to think it's not enough. I want to hang a line in the backyard to dry clothes on but allergens keep getting in the way. I'd like to stop using the automatic sprinkler but our soil moisture is critical to foundation issues here. I could change the thermostat but the temperature has been running in the triple digits these last few days (The Texas Public Utilities Commission has set a yellow conservation alert.) I know I'll figure something out.

Has this downturn affected your habits? Are you downsizing at your house?

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Jul 14, 2009